Mohammed Makkawy is one of the greatest short bodybuilders of all time. At only 5’3”, the Egyptian-born athlete defeated men much taller with his proportioned, no-weak-points physique… [Read more…]
Q: I remember reading in your newsletter not too long ago when you mentioned that the rest time between sets during a [10×10 sequence] should be 20 seconds. In the 10×10 e-book you say to use 30 seconds between sets. Is that a deliberate reduction, and if so, should I reduce my starting weight a little to accommodate the reduced rest?
A: Rest between sets during a 10×10 sequence should be anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds. Vince Gironda, famous Hollywood trainer known as the Iron Guru who trained Larry Scott for his first Mr. Olympia victory, liked to continue to gradually reduce it over many workouts till the trainee was down to only about 10 seconds of rest or less between sets. That doesn’t work for many trainees because of having a training partner… [Read more…]
Q: This is it! I started using The 10×10 Mass Workout a little while ago, and I’ve gained 3 pounds in 3 weeks, all muscle. If I keep this up, I can easily gain 20 pounds of muscle in the next few months. Thank you for showing me the best mass-building program ever.
A: While that’s not a question, we feel obligated to respond. First, we’re glad you’re making such spectacular progress with 10×10. Gaining 3 pounds in 3 weeks is very impressive, so keep using it till your gains slow down or stop… [Read more…]
Q: This is kind of an odd question, but does hot weather help make muscles grow? I’ve noticed this summer, when it’s been blazing hot outside, I make my best gains. In the winter, my gains are much slower, sometimes nonexistent. Could it be the heat?
A: It could simply be more summer-time motivation—you train harder because you want to look good at the pool, lake, or beach. It could also be leanness and darkness—being more ripped and tan makes you look bigger and better. There’s a good chance that heat and/or sunshine may have something to do with it, along with sweating. Perspiring more sheds water from under the skin, and that means more vascularity more often, which adds to your bigger, more-shredded look. But heat may be the key… [Read more…]
Q: You guys have so many different programs and mass tactics. Should I just pick a routine I like, do it for five weeks, then pick another? For example, I’m thinking about using 4X Mass Workout. Then I could go to Power-Density. Thoughts?
A: That can work very well. As we always say, change to gain. But when we say that, we are primarily talking about tactics, not exercises…[Read more…]
Vince Gironda was the Iron Guru, a bodybuilding legend ahead of his time. Ask anyone who knew him and trained at his famous Vince’s Gym in Studio City, California, and they would say Vince was a sheer genius when it came to building muscle. (They would also say he was one of the most bombastic, outspoken S.O.B.s around–LOL!)
His most famous pupil in the bodybuilding world was the very first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, who overcame many genetic flaws to make it to the top, thanks to Vince. The Iron Guru also trained many Hollywood stars back in the day, like Clint Eastwood, and even Arnold consulted with him and was a fan (even though Vince told Arnold that he was a “fat fuck” when he first arrived in the U.S.).[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been intrigued by your explanation of workout density being the reason your 10×10 program builds mass. Do you think that’s the reason drop sets are also so effective?
A: Workout density is Vince Gironda’s term to express getting more work done in a given time frame. For example, most trainees do a set, rest for two to three minutes, do another set, and so on. In 10 minutes you only do two or three sets…[Read more…]
Q: I really like the 4X mass method with all sets X-centric as a one-workout shocker as you’ve recommended before. You’ve also talked about 10×10, which I’ve made great gains with before, but how about the old 8×8 method that Vince Gironda used to pack muscle on his pupils with.
A: We actually discuss Vince and his 8×8 method in the very first chapter of The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout e-book. It’s a great method, but you need to heed Vince’s advice if you use it…[Read more…]
Q: Your 4X mass method has 35 to 45 seconds rest between sets. I’ve seen research that longer rests between sets can be better for strength and muscle growth. What’s your take on that?
A: Legendary trainer Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru who trained Mr. Olympias as well as Hollywood stars to build muscle fast, first got us into reducing rest between sets for muscle growth—he called it Density Training…[Read more…]
Q: I just got the Vince Gironda Legend & Myth anthology. Incredible info, but I’m wondering a few things. His drag curls and diver cable rows are cool exercises, but how do they fit into your Positions-of-Flexion system? Drag curls are similar to standing barbell curls, but you pull the bar up next to your body to your lower pecs, so the poundage is fairly low. Is it still a good midrange exercise?
A: Vince’s drag curl is similar to a regular barbell curl, but you keep the bar in contact with your body all the way up, so it’s much more isolated. And at the top, when the bar is at your lower chest line, your upper arms are more in a position that’s like the top of an incline curl, a stretch-position exercise. Now you’re probably really confused. LOL!